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  • More Approaches to Jazz Tunes

    More Approaches to Jazz Tunes

    I’ve talked in the past about delving into a new tune using what I call “The Treatment.” It’s a flexible yet organized way to become more fluent on a tune, especially if it is new to you. Sometimes, however, we are looking to delve even more deeply into a tune, or perhaps we find ourselves... »

  • Custom Shop: The Making of Orchid (Part 4)

    Custom Shop: The Making of Orchid (Part 4)

    This week, we’re wrapping up the series on the making of Orchid, an in-depth look at the build process for a custom bass for No Treble’s founder, Corey Brown, by luthier Rick Toone. If you missed the earlier part of the series, check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Shaping Contours Sculpting the... »

  • Dealing with Repetitive Stress Injuries

    Dealing with Repetitive Stress Injuries

    Q: Every morning, when I wake up at about 5 am to practice my bass, I find that my fingers get cold and blood stops going to them. When I stop and rest, I feel the blood rushing back to them. This started happening since I upgraded my practice time from four hours to about... »

  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 1: Basic Technique

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 1: Basic Technique

    Common injuries that rob bassists of stage time Let’s start with an overview of the most common types of injuries bassists experience, the dreaded tendonitis, also known as repetitive stress injury, which will usually be felt in the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, or neck and shoulder. As repetitive stress injury suggests, overuse is the cause... »

  • Recording the Upright Bass

    Recording the Upright Bass

    Steve Bunker, a rockabilly player, recently asked me about the “best way to record the upright bass.” While I don’t think there is any one single way that is the best to record every upright bass in every style of music, I have noticed a few things over the years. Get your sound before you... »

  • Choosing an Amp

    Choosing an Amp

    Q: I have a question regarding power amps and cabinets. There are so many choices out there, and even more when you consider every amp available online (but probably won’t see in a store). How do you go about choosing an amp without just throwing a dart at the board and taking a huge financial... »

  • Past the Point of Unknowing

    Past the Point of Unknowing

    Q: I tend to hit a wall while practicing over a tune, where I don’t know what else to play. I know you’ve explained some chordal exercises and other ways to expand one’s vocabulary, but do you have any other thoughts about what to play when you just don’t know what to play? A: Actually,... »

  • Upright Bass Set Up for Playability and Sound – Part 2

    Upright Bass Set Up for Playability and Sound – Part 2

    This is part 2 of this series by Dr. D. Check out Part 1. Set Up for Sound In terms of sound, there are any number of things that can affect the volume, sustain and tone of your instrument. The bottom line is that everything you do to the instrument matters. Strings matter. Tailpiece length... »

  • Lessons Learned from Scott LaFaro: Playing the 1825 Abraham Prescott Bass

    Lessons Learned from Scott LaFaro: Playing the 1825 Abraham Prescott Bass

    Recently, I had an experience that changed the way I think about instruments. Years ago, I used to get nervous sitting in on other people’s gigs for fear of not being able get “my sound” out of their bass. You know what I’m taking about, right? You grab someone else’s bass, play a few notes,... »

  • Playing Pain Free

    Playing Pain Free

    Q: As someone who wants to practice for hours each day, what advice would you give to prevent injury? Do you have any warm up routines or other advice? A: You know, I’ve been lucky. I’ve never consciously warmed up when practicing, and I’ve never had any pain issues. However, I’ve noticed more recently that... »